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Coal finds strong support in GOP platform as convention kicks off

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Coal finds strong support in GOP platform as convention kicks off

As Republicanskicked off the party convention in Cleveland on July 18, its platform emerged witha focus on promoting the continued use of "clean" coal and pushing backon Obama administration environmental policies often cited for the industry's prolongeddecline.

Released after a vote on the first day of the party convention,the platform takes specific issue with the administration's "war on coal"and the contentious U.S. EPA Clean Power Plan, promising to "do away with italtogether."

"The Democratic Party does not understand that coal is anabundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource," the partywrote in the final version of the platform. "Those who mine it and their familiesshould be protected from the Democratic Party's radical anti- coal agenda."

The finalversion of the platform largely echoes industry arguments against federal regulationsand the need to support coal production in the U.S. to ensure low cost energy andhelp consumers avoid "colder homes in the winter and hotter homes in the summer,less mobility in employment, and higher food prices."

The platformtakes aim at the Democratic Party, calling environmental and energy policies anattack on the industry.

The promotionof coal comes as a part of a broader push for an all-of-the-above energy approach,stressing the development and use of "all forms of energy that are marketablein a free economy without subsidies, including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power,and hydropower."

LukePopovich, spokesman for the National Mining Association praised the platform's broadenergy focus.

"Theparty's advocacy for an all of the above energy strategy is inherent in its explicitsupport for all forms of energy, from 'coal' to 'hydropower,'" Popovich said."This, recall, was the energy policy that the administration once said it supportedand remains the energy policy that we think best serves a growing economy in a veryuncertain world."

As reportedlate last week, the final version of the platform added the adjective "clean" to discussion of coalfollowing an amendment proposed by Texas-based delegate David Barton. The addition,added after an omission in the party's platform in 2012, drew scorn from environmentaladvocacy groups.

Whenreached for comment after the release of the final platform, the Sierra Club referredto an earlier statement that dismissed the GOP approach as "losing touch withbasic science and common sense, and will result in avoidable catastrophe."

Republicanpresumptive nominee, DonaldTrump, has often cited his support for "clean coal" use in the future,the platform makes no mention of supporting technology like carbon capture and storage.

Whilethe final document does make mention of the need to reform the current approachto federal permitting, it cites only oil and natural gas efforts, skipping the recentdebate over coal leasingon public lands and increased royalty rates.

ChristianPalich, president of the Ohio Coal Association, said he was excited about the finalplatform, telling S&P Global Market Intelligence that it made it "clearwhich party stands with Ohio and America's coal families."

The firstday of the party convention focused on national and domestic issues, leaving energyissues likely for day two, titled "Make America Work Again."